On March 28, 2023, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) and DSD Renewables (DSD) completed the installation of a 1.85 megawatt (MW) ground mount solar array at The Village at Orchard Ridge. The Village at Orchard Ridge’s solar array is a seven-acre installation of precisely aligned photovoltaic panels that collect energy from the sun and convert it into electricity.
This recently completed solar project represents a significant step forward in NLCS’ commitment to environmental sustainability and achieving 100% clean, renewable energy usage across its communities. The installation will meet 90% of The Village at Orchard Ridge’s independent living energy needs by producing an estimated 2,396 MWh of energy per year, the equivalent of powering 330 homes annually. In addition, the project will offset 1,862 tons of carbon dioxide, equating to:
Construction for the project began in July 2022, launching NLCS’ first large-scale solar project and expanding DSD’s footprint to 23 states. Not only was this project in a new market for DSD, but solar was also a newer generation asset class for the local utility. The project encountered numerous challenges, but DSD and NLCS worked closely with the local utility to implement innovative design and engineering solutions that brought the project to fruition while minimizing disruption to the community’s 400-plus residents.